Partners brings specialty pharmacy in-house, expects $23M in annual savings

In a move expected to save the health system $23 million annually, Boston-based Partners HealthCare has launched its own specialty pharmacy, according to The Boston Business Journal.

The pharmacy is a 20,000-square-foot facility featuring a call center and fulfillment center that will prescribe specialty drugs, a class of expensive medications that are often difficult for patients to obtain. The pharmacy will have a prescription medication mail-order program.

Partners first disclosed the launch of its specialty pharmacy in third-quarter financial results earlier this month.  

After the initial costs to staff the center are offset, the health expects to save about $23 million annually by bringing this service in-house,

Partners also hopes to improve access to specialty drugs and tracking of how they work with  patients to better inform prescribing patterns. It also seeks more oversight of specialty drugs, one of the biggest  drivers of healthcare costs.

"Our specialty pharmacy is about trying to create an opportunity to be able to get patients access to the medications they will benefit from and that our providers think they need, to make it as hassle-free to the patient as possible and take some of that work off the provider's plate," Greg Meyer, chief clinical officer for Partners, told The Business Journal.

Partners has joined several other health systems in bringing pharmacy services in-house. Rochester, Minn.-based Mayo Clinic and Boston Medical Center already made the jump and earlier this year, and New Hyde Park, N.Y.-based Northwell Health also announced it would  move its pharmacy and delivery service in-house.

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